Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday side-stepped alarming accusations that migrant children detained at the southern border aren't given soap and toothpaste, saying it’s up to Congress to reform immigration.
In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” the vice president, however, conceded the conditions at detention facilities are“heart-breaking.”
“I was at the detention center in Nogales [Arizona] a few short months ago.,” he said when pressed about the government lawyers insisting facilities were “safe and sanitary” despite children not being provided adequate toiletries. “It is a heart-breaking scene. These are people who are being exploited by human traffickers, who charge them $5,000 a person to entice them to take their vulnerable children, and take the long and dangerous journey North. So Congress has to act.”
Pence insisted 90% of people claiming asylum never show up to their court hearings.
“People with a hearing that is scheduled six months or a year or 18 months later, the overwhelming majority… 90% don't show up,” he claimed.
CNN’s Jake Tapper countered that Justice Department data put the number at 60% to 70%.
Pence also repeated President Donald Trump’s insistence that the flawed immigration system could be fixed “in 15 minutes if the Democrats will sit down with use, close the loopholes, provide the resources we need to deal with the influx.”
“We'll end this crisis of illegal immigration and the flow at our border and that along with border security will end this crisis,” with those fixes, he said.
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